Site Manager’s guide to new water mains and service connections on new developments
Section 185 of The Water Industry Act 1991 places a duty on a statutory undertaker such as Southern Water to alter or relocate any of its apparatus upon receipt of a notice to do so from any person with an interest in land upon which, under which or adjacent to which the public apparatus is installed, providing that the alteration or relocation of the apparatus is necessary to enable that person to carry out a proposed improvement of the land in which he has an interest and that it is reasonable to do so. No such duty arises where the apparatus is located in, under or over any street.
You should read the following notes carefully prior to serving notice on Southern Water to relocate any of its apparatus.You must ensure that any project managers, consultants or contractors acting upon your behalf are aware of the costs, requirements and timings associated with diversionary works and that sufficient time has been allowed for the completion of the diversion prior to your starting to build on site.
Where the undertaker carries out any work under section 185 by virtue of a notice having been served, the undertaker shall be entitled to recover any expenses reasonably incurred in carrying out those works from the person who served the notice.
Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 2007
Under the CDM Regulations 2007, the developer has client responsibilities for the new mains and services construction on your site, these include:
- Select and appoint a competent CDM coordinator where the works are notifiable under the Regulations.
- Select and appoint a competent principal contractor
- Verify the sufficiency of the construction phase plan prior to commencement
- Verify that suitable welfare facilities are in place prior to commencement
- Hold pre-commencement meeting with a Southern Water representative prior to any new mains work starting
- The line of the main is clear from obstructions, the roads and footways are clearly marked, and the line and levels are clearly defined
- Ensure fire hydrants and other street furniture is accessible and free from obstructions and damage
Before the construction of the new water main commences the developer will arrange a pre-commencement site meeting. This meeting should be attended by a Southern Water representative, our contractor and the developer, (and, if appropriate, a representative from the self-lay organisation).
At the meeting the following will be discussed:
- A commencement date to start the mains construction
- The kerb line and levels will be marked clearly by the construction start date
- The line and level of the back of any footpath or service strip are to be marked clearly
- A designated area for the storage of pipes and fittings so that delivery can be arranged
- Exchange relevant health and safety and CDM information
- Confirmation of phases / construction visits to complete construction of the main laying; see T&C’s.
- That no changes have been made to the site layout since the mains design drawing was drawn up
- The line and level of other utility services in the vicinity of the water mains or service pipes have been considered to ensure there is no conflict and will be in accordance with National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) guidelines.
- Service connection types and confirmation of boundary box positions
- Any other site specific information
Site preparation and commencement of main laying
Before construction of the new main starts it is important that:
- The proposed line of the main is clearly free from obstructions.
- A kerb race or other permanent identification of the limits of the roads or footpaths is in place
- The line and level to the back edge of the footpaths and service strips are clearly defined
All people working for Southern Water and our contractor will be given a site induction by the developer immediately upon arrival on site. They will also be required to sign in and out at the site office each day they are on site.
Where possible, water mains will be constructed with a minimum cover of 750mm from the top of the main to the finished surface level, and 690mm from the centre of the main to the kerb face, in accordance with the National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) guidelines, (as amended by Southern Water on the positioning and colour coding of utilities’ apparatus).
Service pipe road crossing ducts should be installed by the developer in the positions shown on the design drawing. They should be sized appropriately and at a depth of 750mm below the finished service level and at right angles to the main. Indicative sizes are provided on the Southern Water design drawing. The position of the ducts must be clearly marked at both ends.
The developer will be responsible for ensuring that all chambers, where installed, are vertical and frames and covers are at the correct level to meet the finished surface levels.
Any damage to the water mains and associated fittings will be repaired by the Southern Water and recharged to the responsible party.
To enable future maintenance, a minimum clearance of 300mm must be maintained where any works or services are installed adjacent to a water main. The developer will be recharged for any diversionary works where this cannot be achieved.
Post construction handover
Once any section of the new water main is commissioned, Southern Water or our contractor will walk the line of the new main to ensure that:
- Fittings have been installed as per the design drawing
- Fittings are in chambers set to finish levels given
- Correct covers are fitted
- Correct marker posts are installed
When all permanent surfaces are fully completed, a site walk over will be required by Southern Water with the developer. Any defects identified at this point will be charged to the developer.
The developer must contact Southern Water to arrange a site meeting.
When the developer’s build program results in the number of new services connected not producing sufficient demand and turn-over of water within the main, Southern Water will undertake routine flushing to maintain a satisfactory level of water quality. The developer can be recharged for additional routine flushing for this reason.
Temporary building supplies
All temporary standpipes and welfare facilities must comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999. When the temporary building supply is no longer required, Southern Water must be contacted to arrange for the supply to be disconnected.
All standpipes and / or taps, that a hose may be connected to, must be fitted with a double check valve.
In some cases a permanent house connection may be used initially for building purposes.
Unauthorised use of a fire hydrant / washouts is an offence under section 174 of the Water Industry Act 1991. In order to avoid the risk of legal proceedings please contact
who handle applications for the hire of standpipes within the Southern Water area.
Telephone: 0844 984 2788
Interference with fire hydrants / washouts can result in:
- Contamination of the water network
- Damage to fire hydrants & washouts
- Discolouration of the water network
- Burst mains due to pressure surges
- Reduction in pressure of the water network
- Interruption to supply to surrounding properties
Fire hydrants on new watermains
When designing new water mains Southern Water will liaise with the Fire Authorities regarding the provision of fire hydrants, and will install new fire hydrants where requested by the Fire Authority.
Fire hydrants are life saving devices so it is important that once the new water main is commissioned:
- Site access is made available to fire service personnel so that the new fire hydrants can be inspected and adopted by the Fire Authority
- The new fire hydrants are kept free and are not covered or obstructed as they must be accessible in the event of a fire during the construction of the development
- When constructing footpaths and other final surfaces, the correct fire hydrant cover is installed, the fire hydrant marker post is in position, and the fire hydrant cover is to finished surface level and not buried
- Fire hydrant chambers are free of debris and surfacing materials and the cover can be removed
- It is the developer’s responsibility to lay the service pipes from the building to the highway boundary of the property
- All service pipes to be installed to comply with Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 and Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 (including Regulation 31). All materials to be WRAS approved for use on potable water supplies
- Service pipes shall be installed at a minimum of 750mm depth
- Ducts to be provided for any services where the main is on the opposite side of the road
- Where any part of the site is contaminated appropriate pipe systems must be installed as agreed with Southern Water e.g. barrier pipe
- Service pipes are capped and labelled to show which plot they supply
- The pipe must be ducted where it enters the building so that the pipe can be easily retracted and replaced
- An internal stop tap must be installed prior to service connections being made
- Service pipes should be laid in straight runs and should not cross neighbouring plots. Service pipes should not run down the public footpath or highway.
- Ensure area is clear from obstructions before requesting connections
- Inform Southern Water of all occupants’ details and date of occupancy
When the developer contacts us to request services connections, they should make sure:
- Payment for the services have been made
- The service pipe from the property to the boundary is in place and complies with the specification above and the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999
- The service pipe is clearly marked as to which property it supplies and is sealed to avoid contamination
- Area around the service connection is free from obstructions such as skips, scaffold and building materials
- Where the service connection crosses site roads, the ends of the ducts are exposed and marked
- The finished kerb line and levels are known
- Boundary boxes should not be in driveways or on vehicle crossovers
When all the above have been met the developer should contact us to request a Trench Inspection.
Chlorination of service pipes
Where a supply pipe is 63mm OD or greater, the developer is required to submit a 'Bacteriological Certificate' prior to the connection with the water main. This should include all internal and external pipework and fire fighting supplies.
Post service connection damage
Any damage caused to meter boxes after they have been connected will be repaired or replaced by Southern Water and the full cost of the work will be charged to the developer.
Water services in contaminated ground
If the site has been deemed as contaminated, the service pipes installed by the developer must be in either WRAS approved barrier pipe (preferred option) or plastic coated underground copper.
If any of the service connections on site are to be made using two or six way manifolds, the service connections for all of the properties served by each manifold must be requested at the same time and they must all be ready to be connected in one visit.
Occupancy of new properties
The developer will be charged for any standing charges and water consumption until Southern Water is informed of the new occupant’s details.
When notifying Southern Water of a new occupant the following information will be required:
- Plot number
- Occupier’s name
- Full postal address of property
- Date of occupancy
- Occupier’s previous address
- Meter serial number and reading
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